Judge adopts twins for money, then gives them away

OKLAHOMA CITY (CNN) - An Oklahoma judge is accused of defrauding the state out of tens of thousands of dollars is now facing dozens of felony charges and more may be filed soon.
Prosecutors said Judge Tammy Bass-Lesure adopted twin orphans, but then gave them away to a friend to raise while still accepting money from the state.
The judge is accused of taking nearly $22,000 dollars from the Department of Human Services (DHS).
"She and her husband adopted two children that they had fostered in June of last year," Sheree Powell of DHS said.
According to the district attorney's office, Bass-Lesure and her husband never actually cared for the 3-year-old twins.
Dating back to February 2008, the District Attorney said that Bass-Lesure received dozens of payments, most of which were for $730.
Court papers said some of the money was spent at spas, nail salons and casinos.
DHS would not comment on the charges against the judge, but did explain how the payment system works.
"All of our foster parents and adopted parents are eligible for a subsidy payment to help defray some of the cost of caring for the children," Powell said.
Bass-Lesure had been a foster parent with the state since 2004.
Powell said there are safeguards in place to make sure the state is not cheated out of money, but there are fewer protections once children are adopted.
"We always go out and do assessments and valuations of children in foster care, once the child is adopted they are then the children of the person who adopts them," she said.
Bass-Lesure's husband is also facing charges.
According to court papers, the twins involved are still in